Kenya’s mobile users consistently seeking better network services

Global Independent mobile advertising network leader InMobi today released its findings on the trends of Kenya’s mobile phone use.

InMobi said in a statement that as much as things are beginning to look up with cable laying, deregulation and slight price reductions, the real value for consumers is yet to be seen and many are fed up with their service providers.

While the costs of calling in Kenya seems exceedingly high comparatively to other emerging markets, it has also been noted that Kenyan mobile users enjoy considerably better coverage than other African counterparts.

Kenyan networks currently host about 29.2 Million subscribers, according to Communications Commission of Kenya Report for January – March 2012, which in effect means that seven out of every 10 people owns a mobile phone.

It is also not news that Kenyans are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile phones as a primary form of communication.
“As mobile evolves, so do Kenyan wants and needs, with currently about 21 percent of Kenyans actively downloading apps, ringtones and wallpapers. Research shows that Kenyans see mobile, 53%, as a more important method of paying bills and recharging, especially when compared to a PC, 30%,” Moses Kemibaro, Sales Director for Africa at InMobi, said.

The research shows that music, social networks apps and general productivity apps are the most downloaded content among Kenyan mobile users standing at 56 percent, 38 percent and 24 percent respectively for the three offerings.

As far as internet usage on web goes, social networks websites rank high as the main website visited by both males and females ranking at 86 percent for males and 81 percent for females.

Other content viewed includes entertainment and news which both averaged 84 percent and 65 percent respectively. The two largest disparities as far as browsing habit is concerned is on matters shopping where women average 32 percent while men managed a low 23 percent. Men however consume more online content in sports, games and overall.

Yet a staggering amount of subscribers are unhappy. Twenty-three percent are frustrated over issues such as high prices (including hidden charges) of calls, 16 percent are dissatisfied because of limited data coverage, hidden charges and dropped calls.

Another 13 percent are grossly dissatisfied by their current network’s customer care. When asked why they would switch network, the number one reason cited was for better data network coverage and better data on the same network with friends and family. Better customer service is also high on the switch agenda for Kenyan subscribers.

That said, only 34 percent of subscribers are happy to stay with their current service providers, with 18 percent actively looking to switch to another service provider. Some 48 percent would be willing to jump ship and join other networks should the right offer from a competitor come along at the right time.

Topping the list of what attracts people from one network to another is bonus free data and talk time, with the majority of consumers wanting more free minutes and the lower age bracket customers wanting more free data from their current service providers.

“It’s really all about value for money, and how packages differentiate themselves. Offering new systems like coupons and instant discounts are good ways of boosting subscriber numbers, and bring something new to the table,” Kemibaro said.

InMobi is the largest independent mobile advertising network. With offices on five continents including in Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.

Via Lianne Kiruiru, Tell-em, Kenya.

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